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3 ways office jobs can lead to injuries

On Behalf of | Jul 11, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Construction work, factory jobs, warehouse work and jobs in health care are notoriously dangerous. By comparison, most people think that office work is pretty safe – but is it?

Office work can actually be a lot more risky than you probably realize. Here are three common injuries that office workers experience:

1. Slips, trips and falls

In 2020 alone, a whopping 18% of nonfatal work injuries were connected to falls – and almost 200,000 of them were bad enough to cause the injured worker to miss work. 

All it takes to end up in a serious workplace accident from a fall is spilled coffee or water on the floor, bathroom tiles that are over-polished or a few stray boxes of files left in the path you usually walk through. Uneven flooring, loose carpets and torn mats can also lead to falls. Because offices are often cluttered and full of hard surfaces, there’s a significant potential for a fall to cause a traumatic brain injury, broken limbs or a fractured pelvis. 

2. Back injuries

It might surprise you to know that back injuries are a common problem among office workers. 

Not only can sitting in one position for long periods (often on chairs that aren’t as ergonomically designed as they could be) at a desk put undue pressure on a worker’s spine, but all it takes is lifting a box of office supplies or files the wrong way to cause a slipped disc. Muscle strain from hunching over a keyboard or piles of paper can also be a problem for office workers.

3. Repetitive strain injuries 

Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) are caused by repetitive movements and the overuse of muscles and tendons – and they’re extremely common among office workers. 

The constant typing many office workers do on their keyboards, the repetitive clicking of their keypads, scrolling and poor posture brought on by long hours can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and bursitis – all of which can be complicated to resolve.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that office work is easy. Office workers are actually at significant risk of life-altering injuries every day. If one happens to you, make sure you understand your right to workers’ compensation.

 

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36-year-old laborer for landscaping company fractured wrist when fellow employee hit him with truck. Claimant received in excess of $30,000 in workers’ compensation benefits for total disability and medical expenses and settled with automobile insurance company for fellow employee for $95,000.

1989 workers’ compensation claim settled for $125,000. Claimant originally sustained a low back injury when she slipped and fell at local grocery store resulting in low back surgery in 1989. Several years later, claimant exacerbated her low back injury. Claim was reopened and settled with carrier for $125,000 in 2006.

47-year-old deli clerk sustained low back injuries at work for local supermarket. Carrier originally denied claim on the grounds that the injury was pre-existing. After formal workers’ compensation hearing carrier accepted claim and paid all total disability benefits and medical expenses in excess of $100,000. Case then settled for an additional $100,000 after injured person received a permanent disability rating.

34-year-old male roofer sustained multiple injuries to his shoulder, neck, back and hip when he fell from roof during work. Claimant was provided workers’ compensation benefits in excess of $100,000 and settled remaining claims for an additional $55,000.

40-year-old male working for cleaning company sustained neck and low back injuries when he fell on defective staircase while cleaning local museum. Claimant recovered over $95,000 in workers’ compensation benefits and resolved claim against museum for $85,000.

26-year-old laborer sustained fractured foot when a cast iron pipe was dropped on his foot. Employer and workers’ compensation carrier denied claim on basis that injured worker was an independent contractor. After a series of informal and formal workers’ compensation hearings, carrier conceded that claimant was an employee and settled case for $85,000.

24-year-old waitress sustained back injury while working at Outback Steak House. Workers’ compensation insurance company initially denied the claim. After a series of informal hearings, carrier accepted claim paying medical expenses and total disability benefits. In addition to those benefits paid, claim settled for an additional $75,000.

Delivery truck driver sustained right wrist fracture in rear-end motor vehicle accident while in the course of his employment. Claimant recovered in excess of $40,000 in workers’ compensation benefits for medical expenses and total disability benefits. Claimant settled case against at-fault driver for $105,000.

22-year-old male working as stocking clerk at “big box” retailer sustained herniated disc in low back. Workers’ compensation carrier refused to accept the claim. After formal workers’ compensation, hearing commissioner ordered carrier to pay over $35,000 in past total disability benefits and pay for surgery and all related medical expenses. Case settled for an additional $35,000 for a total recovery in excess of $100,000.

Rear-end collision on entrance ramp to Merritt Parkway resulting in 49-year-old woman sustaining mid-back injury. Case settled at mediation after filing suit for $300,000.

28-year-old passenger sustained multiple herniated discs in automobile accident in New York state. New York no-fault carrier paid for extended period of disability from work and medical expenses, including expenses for surgery. Case settled against driver of vehicle for $300,000 policy limits shortly after filing suit.

54-year-old man sustains shoulder injury when hit from behind by uninsured motorist on New Jersey Turnpike. Case settled for $135,000 prior to trial.

CT Transit bus driver sustained torn meniscus in collision with another vehicle. Claims made against at-fault driver, workers’ compensation carrier and client’s underinsured motorist policy. All claims settle for a recovery in excess of $100,000.

68-year-old woman sustained neck and back injuries in rear-end collision and required extended course physical therapy, but was not a surgical candidate. Case settled for $100,000 prior to filing suit.

34-year-old woman sustained concussion and neck and back injuries in hit-and-run accident on a New York highway. Claimant settled uninsured motorist claim for her $100,000 policy limits.

80-year-old woman sustained right foot fracture when her foot was run over in a parking lot. Case settled for at-fault driver’s policy limit of $100,000 prior to filing suit.

38-year-old nanny sustained right femur fracture when she fell down defective stairs in home of her employer’s neighbor. All medical expenses and lost wages reimbursed and case settled for an additional $150,000.

Claim against landlord for defective staircase in multi-family rental house. Claimant sustained a right femur fracture. Case settled for $125,000 prior to filing suit.

$95,000 judgment obtained against bar and nightclub for assault by one of its patrons against another patron.

47-year-old woman sustained a broken left wrist when she fell from porch stairs at house she was renting. Case settled for $95,000 shortly before trial.

26-year-old male bitten on leg by German shepherd. Claim against dog owner settled for $65,000 plus payment of all medical expenses.